CLEVELAND — A newspaper investigation has found that 21-year-olds received the most traffic citations out of any age group in Ohio, despite not being the most licensed drivers.

The analysis by The Plain Dealer (http://bit.ly/2bunmgT) of more than 612,000 traffic tickets from the Ohio State Highway Patrol in 2015 shows troopers wrote nearly 23,000 citations last year to 21-year-olds.

Male drivers accounted for 70 percent of those tickets.

“Young male drivers take more risks behind the wheel, it’s just that simple,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “They are more likely to speed, drink and drive, run red lights and fail to wear safety belts.”

The analysis found that drivers in their 20s accounted for 196,456— or nearly a third —of tickets written by troopers. Drivers age 21 to 25 were in the most fatal accidents— 193 —last year, according to the state Department of Public Safety. At nearly 66,000, they also had the most crashes that damaged property.

Karen Sprattler, a behavioral consultant in St. Paul, Minnesota who works with highway safety officials, said that people in their early 20s are greater risk takers.

“Their brain development isn’t completed until they are older,” she said. “They don’t have many responsibilities, either. They are out more when there is a greater police presence, at night.”

There are 125,567 licensed drivers who are 21-years-old in Ohio. With almost 160,000 licensed drivers, 58-year-olds are the most registered group of drivers of any age in the state, according to the state Department of Motor Vehicles. Those drivers received 70 percent fewer tickets than 21-year-olds.

According to state patrol records, more than 80 percent of ticketed drivers live in the state.


Information from: The Plain Dealer, http://www.cleveland.com